The recognition that there are healthy and unhealthy forms of repentance is both common sense and biblical (2 Corinthians 7:8-13). On this everyone agrees; secular and sacred. The difficulty is in discerning disingenuous repentance. Mature and discerning people can witness the same conversation and walk away with distinctly different impressions about whether a given expression of remorse represents genuine repentance, sorrow for being caught, or a tactic to gain relational leverage.
In this post, I hope to accomplish two things. First, I will attempt to clarify two common misperceptions about manipulation. Second, I will discuss a series of phrases commonly used in repentance which can be red flags that the remorse being expressed will not lead to healthy relational restoration. Continue reading
Philippians 4:8 is one of the most commonly used verses in biblical counseling. In a concise manner, it provides a grid through which our thoughts should be screened. The apostolic exhortation is clear and direct.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Continue reading
In his last post Winston Smith began addressing those cases in which a couple in crisis comes, almost demanding that their longstanding problems be resolved ASAP! Here is the conclusion to the article. Continue reading
In this post and the next post, Winston Smith works through the problem of helping couples in crisis who have reach the cliff of desperation. They are tired of the way their marriage has spiraled out of control and the enthusiasm they once had for “happily ever after” is now flowing as much as a clogged garden hose. But even in these cases, they can turn with anticipation to God! Continue reading
Union with Christ is certainly eschatological, but it also has present and active benefits. It changes how we think, relate, and long for. The doctrine of union with Christ, of necessity, alters how we care and how we counsel in the church. Continue reading
This past Sunday, I was reminded that ingratitude should be as uncharacteristic for a Christian as quacking is for a dog. Having a grateful heart is essential to the Christian walk and it is also important to express our thankfulness. With that in mind, I want to share some things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving. Continue reading
This Thanksgiving, among all of our other blessings, we are thankful to God for the biblical counseling ministry that he has extended to us and others. It is a comfort to us that every day there are people willing to serve as ambassadors for Christ, faithfully shining the light of the gospel upon darkened hearts and broken lives. And in that spirit, we wanted to share a Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision that we hope points you to the One who deserves all our thankfulness and praise. Continue reading
This week is a time our nation has set aside to recall the reasons we have to be thankful. But this can be so challenging while we live in a fallen world. Kevin Carson offers some counsel for those who might struggle with gratitude. Maybe you need it. Or maybe you’ll be able to use it with some counselees. Continue reading
Praying for our hurting friends is certainly one of the very best ways we can help them. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “True spiritual love will speak to Christ about a brother even more than to a brother about Christ. It knows that the most direct way to others is always through prayer to Christ and that love of others is wholly dependent upon the truth in Christ.” We often tell people (especially when we don’t know what else to say), “Oh…I’m so sorry. I’ll be praying for you.” We say it to communicate our care and concern for them, but how fervent and faithful are we in actually praying for them? If you’re anything like me, then you probably forget your promise to pray for many of these situations. Continue reading
In biblical counseling we often bring God’s attributes to bear on our counselees’ struggles. For example, God is most certainly an intelligent, creative artist. By making us in his image, God has given us many creative abilities. He has given us abilities to produce paintings, sculptures, music, writings, buildings, and more. We can also utilize creativity in biblical counseling, especially with young counselees who do not respond well to a conventional style of counseling. Creativity in counseling can be used as a means to open up discussion on pertinent topics as we seek to apply biblical solutions. Continue reading